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tv   The War Room  Current  March 7, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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we must stop giving them their power. dr. king had a dream that his children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. that should be our dream for all of our children. we must continue to work together to overcome hatred and achieve this dream. thank you. >> gentleman: everything has a starting point. i feel that him starting it, it will make a difference. >> christof: do you think that harrison will ever be able to overcome their reputation while the klan is still active? >> it is not impossible but it's not probable why they are still active and that's the truth. >> vo: mayor crocket's denouncement of the klan led the news around the state that night, angering
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the klan in harrison. >> rachel: so, what you are going to just jump in line with the people that want to destroy your own people? >> christof: this one guy seems to hold so much power over this town. >> mayor: i think i have more power to change the town and i intend to use it. >> robb: there is no problem. jeff crocket can move. he can be in a diversified community. >> christof: but you aren't going anywhere. >> robb: oh, we're not going anywhere. i mean we are too well established. we were established before they moved here and we will be established after they are laying cold in the grave.
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[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> michael: i'm michael shure. this is "the war room." coming up tonight politicians may not always be smart but at least they're long-winded. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> michael: in greek mythology a giant boulder up a steep hill. every time he neared the peak of that hill the rock would roll down and they would have to start all over again. americans have been pushing boulders up the hill, specifically capitol hill without success and with failure. with whether on guns, the budget the war on terror, the civil rights we got to keep pushing.
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thethe heaviest one on the hill is gun safety. despite the outrage of sandy hook tragedy. gun control has face entrenched obstacles. but today there they passed that bill that would prevent straw purchasing of a gun. iowa senator chuck grassry was the only republican to vote for it. the committee is also working on measures to ban assault weapons beef up the federal background system and school safety. these issues could not be more urgent. in the 82 days since the murders inside sandy hook elementary school according to anest from slate magazine, at least 2513 americans have been killed in gun violence. that's 96 newtown tragedies since the newtown tragedy. that's a reminder that killings will continue unless something
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is done. let's join david shuster from new york city. how are you doing david. >> michael, great to be with you, thank you. >> michael: david, tell me what the significance of the straw purchasing bill coming out of committee is. >> it's significant because it's the easy one. there are four different amendments that the senate judiciary committee has taken out. the straw purchase is one of the ways that those who are not supposed to have guns are able to get them, that is, they convince you to buy one for them. they're tightening the penalties, and giving 25 years in prison and making it harsh for anyone who breaks this law. a number of republicans objected to it because they object to any sort of gun control and they don't believe this is a problem. this moves this particular pill to the full senate for cars. what is going to happen next is difficult, that is the
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negotiations that fall over a bipartisan effort to have background checks. this was led by senator schumer. at one point it looked like he would get the support of republican senator coburn. those fell apart. what schumer is doing he's introducing his original bill, this is a vehicle in case they're able to restart the negotiations over the background check and agree on language that will provide a vehicle on the senate floor. all four measures are expected to pass if only because democrats have a majority on the committee. and then the big key will be what happens once these get to the senate floor? will they all be tied into one bill? will they be voted separately which might increase chances of smaller pieces passing but may decrease on something controversial like a ban of the assault weapon. >> michael: what happens to
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these when they get to the house? is there any hope for any of these bills to shop up at the house and do well there? >> that's going to be top. this is enormous pressure from john boehner from his own caucus who has repeatedly said to him don't violate the rule which says that essentially the mantra don't bring up a proposal unless it has majority support of your caucus. any one of these gun control proposals will not have majority support of republicans. can enough pressure be put on for moderate republicans on boehner as well as democrats and the president and saying, look, given the crisis with gun violence in the country, you owe at least a straight up or down vote and let the chips fall where they may. the vetting is that house speaker john boehner may allow more some proposals for straight up or down vote, or he may say we're just not going to go there. >> michael: totally underscoring the importance of the role of
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the house speaker in all of this. thank you, david schuster, current tv's own. the second challenge is getting a budget passed in this polarized congress. today president obama took republicans to dinner in order to pave a way for the budget deal. also for paul ryan, mitt romney's number works andmitt romneynumber two and also in attendance was the ranking republican advice van hollen. they tried to down play the lunch date. >> given the focus of expertise and the responsibility that the committee in question has here seemed like a good idea to have both of these members today for lunch. >> michael: then john boehner put aside his usual barbs against the president just for a minute today.
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>> yo-yo feel like the president is going around me. after being in office now for four years he's going to sit down and talk to members. i think it's a sign, a hopeful sign and i'm hopeful that something will come out of it. >> michael: i can't tell if boehner is being sarcastic or not but next week the president will head over to capitol hill to sell his fiscal plans and full agenda. who knows maybe that giant boulder will get up that hill if everyone works together, at least talks to each other. in the war on terror now, the debate over the use of drones can feel like we've rolled back to the george w. bush era, but there is some progress. the rest arrest of osama bin laden bin laden's son-in-law makes it feel like we're doing real o on the ground. turkish news report that sulaiman abu ghaith was arrested. in addition to ties to bin laden he has al-qaeda's
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top spokesman. they said, i give the obama administration credit for this. it's steady and unrelenting, and very successful. the republicans saying that. ghaith is in custody in new york city and could and should appear in federal court tomorrow. what remains to be seen if king and his colleagues will attempt to stop such a trial from taking place in new york city. finally, the civil rights. the very embodiment of pushing against insurmountable odds. today is the 48th anniversary of the bloody sunday march from selma to montgomery, alabama. 58 marchs ended up in the hospital but ultimately it was thethe bigotry that fell and the
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protesters who took that mountaintop. by the end of the month 25,000 activists gathered at the state house in montgomery, and five months later president johnson signed the voting rights act. and yet even 48 years later the struggle for civil rights continues. the in mississippi the fbi is watching the investigation into a murder of a young african-american merrillal candidate to see if hate crimes should be brought. the 33-year-old hair co- co-mcmillian was beaten and burned and his body was discovered february 27th. but this isn't just a murder of aspiring black politician. mcmillian was openly gay. the for the latest on the investigation let's turn to clarion-ledger emily le coz, who johns us from jackson mississippi, where she's covering this investigation. welcome to the war room. >> thank you so much.
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>> michael: what is the latest on the fbi's involvement in this case emily? >> well, i spoke with their spokesperson, and they said the fbi has been monitoring that case since about march 1st. and just making sure that they can be of assistance any time the local sheriff department needs them. they also said that they will be reviewing all the evidence in the case, and making a determination at this point whether or not it rises to the level of a hate crime. >> michael: in talking about these hate crimes, mississippi reported only one hate crime in all of 2011. is there any confidence now in the local authorities looking into this, that they get to that place with this? >> it depends on who you speak with. u.s. representative benny thompson said he does have confidence in the police department. but then you talk to the family, and they're not so sure. they haven't had contact with them, and feel like they're not
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getting a lot of information. they're concerned they're not getting, you know, adequate treatment for marco mcmillian. >> michael: telling, what you know, and what local authorities are saying about lawrence reid the man arrested in this case. >> not much is known about him. i spoke to his father by home. he was really hesitant to speak with me on the record. he is a 22-year-old man born and raised in the delta graduated from high school a few years ago. he had a job at domino's pizza but doesn't work there any more. apparently had a girlfriend, and some how hooked up with marco at a bar. the two became friends. from what i have heard the two had gone out monday evening last week. something went awry. in the course of the evening lawrence allegedly beat marco and left his body by the mississippi river.
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but other than that we really don't know a whole lot about this person. >> michael: and we don't know a whole lot about the motive, either. was anyone speculating what that might have been? >> there has been a lot of speculation. probably the biggest theory right now is that marco had hit on him and he didn't take kindly to it, and lashed out at marco. perhaps just a big misunderstanding. then i heard people say that the two were in a relationship. the relationship had gone sour. at some point they had an argument and a scuffle ensued. and during the scuffle lawrence killed him. then i talked to people who say there may have been political motivation, that perhaps lawrence wasn't working alone. without further fact-based information from the authorities, it's hard to get a good read on what the true cause behind the murder is. but it has created just, you
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know, a lot of discussion here in the state and obviously across the nation about tolerance in mississippi not just for african-americans but also for homosex homosexuals. >> michael: throughout history their outrage has been unfeeling. have you felt a sense of outrage that is comforting right now? >> of course there is a lot of outrage, especially in clarks dale, especially those who knew marco or knew of his work. because he was so involved in so many organizations you know, nationally international organizations, there has been an outpouring from all across the united states. certainly there is, and in mississippi as well. there has been a lot of soul searching that's been done. but part of the problem is because we don't know the true motive behind the murder, it's
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hard to be outraged without knowing what, in fact happened. >> michael: yes, and that's true. i guess its sadness before it's outrage, and when the story comes out, it may develop into that. emily le coz covering this story for the jackson clarion-ledger. thank you for coming into "the war room" tonight. coming up here, more in the war room. rand paul's semi epic stand up. granted there were no pee breaks in greek mythology, but still he talked about the same thing for what seemed like an eternity. many senate colleagues were quick to remind, hey that's our job. and then the hillary clinton demarcation zone. that's the period of time we get to reflect on her time as secretary of state before we go on to treat her as candidate for president. and then later not a bad time to bet a couple of hundred bucks on the cardinals.
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we'll get you the intrigue on papal politics. it's "the war room," and we'll be right back. save them. woolite everyday cleans your jeans and won't torture your tanks. woolite washed clothes look like new, longer.
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[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> michael: last night rand paul finished his nearly-13-hour filibuster of john brennan's nomination to huge applause to the floor of that senate. >> thank you very much for the forbearance and i yield the floor. >> michael: well, he may have received a warm reception late last night. when the sun came up this morning, the mood was decidedly less friendly and most of the criticism came from his own part. senator john mccain laid into him for his hyper boletic rhetoric. >> to allege or infer that the united states is going to kill somebody like jane fonda or someone who disagrees with the policies is a stretch of the imagination which is, frankly ridiculous.
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ridiculous. >> michael: well, when mccain is somewhere, lindsey graham can't be far behind. he also took to the floor incredibly to defend the president he once called tone deaf and a failed commander in chief. >> there are a thousand examples of a failed presidency, but there's also some agreement. i congratulate him for having the good judgment to understand we're at war, and to my party i'm a bit disappointed that you no longer think that we're at war. >> michael: the conservative media agrees. the wall street journal editorial addressed to rand paul quote, calm down, senator mr. holder is right. the u.s. government can't randomly target american citizens on u.s. soil or anywhere else. senator paul shot right back on cnn this morning.
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>> the wall street journal is right on a lot of issues and they're wrong on this issue. the problem is if i call an enemy combatant how do we know if you are or aren't? >> michael: to answer that question eric holder has come in. he said, it came to my attention that you asked an additional question. if you does the president have the authority to use weaponnized drone to kill american not engaged in combat on american oil? the answer to that question is no. sincerely eric holder. >> michael: he finally announced he was satisfied. >> the answer to your question can americans be killed on u.s. soil, the answer is no.
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are you satisfied? >> i'm quite happy with the answer. i'm disappointed it took a month and a half and a root canal to get it but we did get the answer. that's what i've been asking all along. >> michael: right after that the senate voted on john brennan's nomination. rand paul was one of the 34 votes against him but with 63 senators voting for him john brennan has been confirmed as director of the c.i.a. joining me now to talk about these findings and what the four grown policy should look like in parker higgins from the electronic frontier foundation. are you satisfied with what rand paul did and the attorney general's response to that? >> rand paul was talking about weaponnized drones. that's just a fraction of what we've been looking at. the invasion even per the attorney general's sport
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statement, they don't say any invasions to privacy this technology could bring. it's a bit theatrical and addressing one part but we think there is a much larger discussion. >> michael: you don't think this is an issue about killing americans. that's just a part of what we should be talking about but--what are some of the issues that aren't getting the attention that this one is getting through the filibuster, any way? >> yes certainly yesterday everyone was talking about killing americans and disrupting their cafe experience. but around the country we've heard a lot of people talking about police using drones, and not the federal government but local government and state government using drones. as they would like it, usually without a warrant to capture footage of americans and things we would normally reject. >> michael: you know, going to the electronic frontier foundation just published the drone authorization list. it's shocking. right now 81 entities in the
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u.s. has drones. several universities, police departments, departments of energy and homeland security. how concerned should citizens be about this? >> absolutely. this is a great cause for concern. if citizens don't speak up, then these agency also continue to develop these policies. they need to hear that americans aren't going to take that without a real debate. that's what we've started to see, in over 30 states we've seen legislation designed to regulate the use of drones introduced. >> and in terms of consumer availability they say by 2015 drones will be available for commercial use and analysts believe there will be upwards of 30,000 drones in the country. 30,000. that to me poses i think of homeland security right away. i don't think about somebody carrying a pair of scissors on an airplane, i think of this. how big of a concern is this? >> unless we take action now. >> what kind of action should we
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take? >> should we at the eff we've taken the stance that this action has to happen in local governments first. so we're encouraged to see 30 states introduce legislation. but some of them are better than others. we've seen of the 30 most of them would have some sort of warrant requirement. if you're going to be the police department flying these drones you need to have a warrant to capture footage of americans. we think that kind of discussion is moving in the right direction. >> michael: so you have the local jurisdictions doing this, or putting in legislation. is the legislation to actually ban the production in sale or the legislation about how they would be used? >> in most cases it's about how they would be used, and specifically how they would be used by law enforcement. there have been--so for example we're working with the sheriff's office in alameda county locally
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here around san francisco. >> michael: yes. >> on their legislation. some of the people that we're working with, some of the people in the coalition would like to see an all-out ban. but in most places it's a warrant, and guidance on how it can be useddism i'm thinking about those drones, and christopher dorner in southern california who went on a killing rampage and then was hold up in a house at big bear. people were speculating whether drones would be an appropriate tool to use there. >> in a case like chris dorner. this is a case that it would have been very easy to get a warrant. you wake a judge up, and you do that. >> michael: right. >> the kinds of laws that we're seeing especially some of the better laws that we're seeing, massachusetts has a pretty good proposal, and rhode island has a
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pretty good proposal, they would restrict what the--what sort of footage they are allowed to use and how they're allowed to use it but it would not restrict the drone all together. so for locating chris dorner in a remote location, drones may not be the most effective tool, but they wouldn't be inhibited. >> michael: that's the exclamation point on what you're talking about. thank you for coming in and enlightening us on this. some crass pot legislation are stirring you will trouble for women's rights. it doesn't begin to describe what arkansas is trying to get away with. get ready to pull some hair out. that's next.
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>> michael: welcome back inside "the war room." with the snow blizzard, sequester and political brinkmanshipbrinkmanship becoming
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the norm in washington, the president has been able to sign a version of the violence against women act. it has been reduced domestic violence up to two-thirds. the new bill includes protection for immigrants, the lgbt community and native americans. >> because of the people on this stage and in this room every time we reauthorize the violence against women act we improved it. every single time we've improved it. [applause] >> michael: despite this clear win for women at the federal level, though, there is still trouble brewing in the states. republican lawmakers are trying to limit women's rights through highly restrictive anti-choice laws. arkansas just passed the most restrictive law in the country. it would ban abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. a clear violation of roe v. wade. joining me to talk about the ever changing landscape for
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protection for women is political strategist l. joy williams. she comes to us from new york. welcomed "the war room"." >> thank you for having me back. >> michael: i'm glad to have you back. i want to talk about this. how big of a victory is the pass angle of vawa for women, but not just for women but for the president? >> well, i would expand that, and say not only for women as we saw in in the vice president you just played the clip. every time it's been reauthorized they've been making the bill stronger and the provision stronger to protect women, now we're protecting lgbt families immigrants and domestic partners in general. it's women, it's children, it's immigrants, native americans and other partners, male or female. i think the vice president is correct each time we reauthorize this we tweak it better and make it better to protect women and families. >> michael: you know i want--we
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heard the president's remarks. he talked a lot about joe biden. we just listened to joe biden. let's listen to the president praise him for his role in the bill. then i want to talk about joe bidden. >> sure. >> the women are no longer hiding in fear because of this law. girls grow up aware of their rights to be free of abuse because of this law. on behalf them and all their families i want to thank joe biden for making this a cause of his career. >> michael: you know, i hear a father of two growing daughters talking to his vice president and his friend. how important has the vice president been on this issue? >> oh, completely important. sometimes as women are in the legislature or in congress, and they're heralding laws on behalf of women sometimes those conversations can be diminished. having an ally like our vice president, who has made this a pivotal part of his career
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tarting at the beginning of this, who continues to fight on our behalf, on family's behalf, to make sure that they have the protection and the money to back it up to protect families is completely important. our president and our vice president have our backs across the country to make sure that women are protected. >> michael: this was not an easy road. they tried to water down the provisions and then capitulated. is this finalling finally acknowledging that americans support gay rights. >> you're too optimistic. while we did see this in this particular debate, this did pass by bipartisan support. and we made sure that this was passed. there are reasonable republicans who are looking beyond saying
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the landscape across the country is changing, and we have to think about people in their entirety. i asked over time during this debate on twitter and in public and asked people in person what is it that you're against? are you against protecting people who may be lgbt? are you against protecting them from harm? you know, are you not at least looking at them as another human being? a number of people couldn't answer, and they couldn't use the talking points that a number of conservatives had because it didn't make any sense. after all this is passed. we have another five years. it's only reauthorized for five years. we may see ourselves in the same position if our country doesn't change. >> michael: is that reauthorization period of five years a good thing or a bad thing? why not reauthorize it, but then i hear what the president said, we made it better five years later. >> that's important. as we continue to progress and go on, there may be things that
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we may see down the line that we need to add to strengthen. as time goes on there is the resource that needs to be done to see the effectiveness. there are clearly benefits that can be garnered from looking at what those provisions do, and how we can make them better. but you know, i'm not that complete optimistic that in five years our country may be in a different way that we wouldn't have this kind of battle again unfortunately. >> michael: we're seeing the problems with revisiting these sorts of things with the voter rights act, as well. >> exactly. >> michael: but let's stay on the subject. not only arkansas has passed a ban on abortion after 12 weeks idaho also passed a ban after 20 weeks. how are these laws as you look at them? >> this is something that we need to watch very carefully and be an active part in fighting
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against. states in arkansas, they're not only passing laws like this that restrict the choice of women to make a choice of abortion. but all the laws they pass around it. in a state like arkansas you still have to get the lecture before you chose choose to have an abortion and then there is a waiting period before you can actually do it. you can't have the conversation and the procedure at the same time. there is a parental notification as well. there are laws being passed that restrict women from getting the choice themselves. it's a run in against roe v. wade and i think it's a conservative effort across the country to challenge roe v. wade and have it come before the supreme court again. >> michael: and it looks like it may, in fact be heading that way. l. joy williams, political strategist out of new york, thank you so much for being on "the war room." i really appreciate it.
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>> thank you for having me. >> michael: when it's all said and done i'd wagered that hillary clinton would have compiled one of the most fascinating and most analyzed careers of any politician in u.s. history. a new book comes to the state department, and we'll talk with the author kim ghattas next. visit redlobster.com now for an exclusive $10 coupon on two lobsterfest entrees. from silver screens... to flat screens... twizzlerize your entertainment everyday with twizzlers the twist you can't resist. you're invited to take the lysol wipes challenge. try lysol dual action wipes and see the cleaning power. lysol dual action wipes have two sides instead of one. a scrubbing side that cleans tough stains better than
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[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> michael: today the ] issued new sanctions against north korea in response to its underground nuclear test last month. the combattive country threatened a preemptive nuclear attack on its enemy the united states and south korea. this is just one of the concerns facing the u.s. state department. it's one that was of the utmost concern of husk. in the new book "the secretary tear," author kim ghattas gives us the first behind-the-scenes look at the clinton years in in the
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state department. kim joins us now from washington, d.c. welcome inside "the war room"," kim. >> thankthank you for having me. >> michael: do you think secretary clinton could have done more to improve the relationship between north korea and the united states? >> there is always more that can be done, right? and certainly there was no progress in that relationship during secretary clinton's time. we know now, for example that two american officials went on a secret trip to north korea sometime in the middle of last year to try to see whether there was a way of improving the relationship with the new young leader of north korea who took over from his father, kim jong-il, and that really went nowhere. the north koreans rebuffed that approach, and it very much broke down to the fact that you may want to engage another country but it really depends on whether they want to respond to that
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offer of engagement. you know they're facing the same issue now with iran. it is really up to the iranians whether they want to respond to the offer of engagement, and in burma, for example, you saw that the burmese themselves decided it was best for their country to open up, and to respond to u.s. offers of engagement. we've seen the amazing transformation in burma. it's still an ongoing process towards opening up, but it seems to be moving forward. it's always difficult to figure out exactly how another country is going to respond to your overtures, but certainly north korea was not one of clinton's successes. >> michael: yes, it's sort of a microcosm of what president obama has been dealing with the congress. if the congress doesn't want to deal with him there is only so much you can do. and there is diplomacy but you
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have to have someone on the other side of the table. had let's listen to this and talk about that. >> time and time again you hear one thing in speeches and then you see a campaign that has the worst kind of tactics. reminiscent of the same sort of republican attacks on democrats. since when do democrats attack one another on universal healthcare? >> michael: so coming from that, how did their relationship evolve to such a point where barack obama put her in such an important role? >> well, you have to remember that being rivals on the campaign trail they were colleagues in the senate. the bitterness that overshadowed that whole presidential campaign in 2008 really belies the fact that in the end they are two democrats, and that they do kind of see the world from the same
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perspective. one is perhaps more forward leaning than the other. hillary clinton certainly during her campaign as president in 2008 sounded more hawkish than president obama, but in the end they'll both tell you that they have the country's best interest at heart. what struck me was president obama's decision first of all to appoint her as secretary of state. and then of course her accepting that offer and putting that rivalry behind. you know, it's a great story for the united states abroad when you speak to foreign leaders and i did that a lot to write my book, when you speak to them, they often cite that as an example of what the united states has to offer to other people around the world. they sort of say you know, it's really incredible to see these two people who were fighting each other on the campaign trail suddenly work together this closely. and they also often remarked on the fact that hillary clinton
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was very loyal to the president and in all of her conversation with foreign counterparts she never tried to push other hen agenda or overshadow the president in any sort of way. loyalty is one of the words i used to describe the relationship between those two former rivals. they had to work together, of course. they wanted to present an unified face for the administration to the outside world because that does help america's credibility. of course, president obama realized that the united states had some work to do to shore up it's credibility after eight years of which diplomacy. it was not the golden years of diplomacy, flo matter no matter what you think of president bush's policies. hillary clinton could board a plane, hit the ground running and represent the united states, almost better than him. >> michael: that's an amazing point. and that's what you're able to
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illuminate for us, the idea that there are points scored overseas when they see rivals come out at friends. that's fascinating stuff. you've been covering clinton since her very first day as secretary of state. as someone who has seen what happens behind the scenes what are some of the surprising things that you've learned about hillary. >> we have all heard about the million miles she has traveled. if you like hillary clinton, if you don't like her if you think you know her if you don't you'll discover her anew. it really is a behind-the-scenes look, and up and close personal look of a woman who has been on the public stage for more than two decades. i think i was most surprised by her ability to laugh to crack jokes, to kickback and relax over a drink on the road. but also what a lot of people told me, because i interviewed a lot of people for my writing
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everybody remarked on the fact that she has this amazing ability to connect to remain down to earth and connect with whomever she's speaking to as though they are her equal. it doesn't matter if they're kings, presidents, students, or ngo workers. i had a lot of people tell me, my goodness, you talk to her and she's so down to earth. >> michael: that's great. the book is called "the journey of hillary clinton from beirut to the heart of american power. kim ghattas, thank you for being on "the war room." up next we'll take you to the vatican. but we assure you - it is. bites. little greatness.
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[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> michael: in just a few days the biggest election of the year will occur. that's the papal election. it's an incredible process filled with intrigue and politics and posturing. and in many ways it isn't all that different from our political process here at home.
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for the inside scope of the campaign process of the vatican i spoke with veteran reporter who has been covering the vatican for 30 years. he is the author of "the vatican diaries: a behind-the-scenes look of the power in the catholic church." cardinals caught buying or selling votes are faced with excommunication but there is still sort of a campaign going on. this is an election, after all. tell us what papal campaigns are like. >> well, they're very subtle. no one overtly campaigns because there would be an immediate backlash. i guess there is no rule against someone walking into these pre-conclave meetings and saying, i'm running for pope. i think i would be a good susser to pope benedict but you know,
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it would be the kiss of death. in fact, none of the cardinals are naming names at this point in the formal session. where that happens is over coffee or over lunch over dinner. there are many meals in rome being taken, and the focus of conversation is who would make a good pope. >> michael: i suspect there are always many meals taken in rome but these are of a different nature. there is lots of talk, john, about the possibility of the next pope could come from outside the vatican inner circle even from the new world. how are these candidates being promoted, or are they being squashed? >> well, there is a built in disadvantage, that is the cardinals in europe are the majority in the conclave. there is always talk that it's
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time for a pope from africa asia, or latin america that was true eight years ago as well. but then again you have 50% of cardinals from europe and then the cardinals from america, it's hard for cardinals from africa to get that kind of support to take him to a two-thirds majority which is what you need to get elected. >> michael: what is it like? i know having the press not allowed into the sistine chapel makes this a difficult question to answer, but what's it like, and what goes on inside the sistine chapel. do you have a feel for what that is? >> i've spoken to cardinals about their experience there and it's this combination of ritual prayer, and tremendously long voting procedures. once the cardinals go into the sistine chapel, they're supposed to have an idea of who they're voting for. there are no more campaign
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speeches going on inside. most of the time it's taken up by voting. and the reason that it's taking so long, one reason, is that each cardinal, when he takes his ballot up, has to recite in latin an oath of secrecy and an oath of fidelity to the conclave rules. so every time a cardinals votes it's going to take a minute or two. >> michael: for 117 cardinals each time they vote--and they don't vote just once--each time they vote it will take 214 minutes to get through the vote. >> it will take an awfully long time. that's why they only have two votes in the morning and two votes in the afternoon. it's all very ceremonial and all very long. the cardinals tell me that they have a sense that they're really coming down to a dramatic decision because they know that their votes might tip a candidate forward or hold them
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back. >> michael: yes, it's so arcane, but i guess that's what they're after there in the vatican. john thavis, i'm going to ask you to throw up a little white smoke, give us a little prognostic case, who is your next pope? >> i don't predict these things but there are three or four candidates who i think have a very good chance. one is a brazilian cardinal odilo scherer. the reason why i think cardinals may turn to him he's really a german in disguise, so to speak. he was born in brazil, and he has the largest archdiocese there in saw sao paolo but he is really a german. they trust him and i think he would make a good choice for someone who has a foot in both
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worlds. we may be looking at an italian cardinal scgloo from milan. cardinal schamburg. we heard of talk of a canadian cardinal ouellet. he has a good chance. there is talk of an american, and i would be surprised. i think if cardinal dolen or o'malley are elected we'll have a lot of people fainting in st. peter's square. >> michael: an interview i did yesterday with john thavis, author of "the vatican diaries." stick around. it may be the detergent.
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